What paper is suggested for 8”x10” kids book?

  • Hi
    I’ve been hired to illustrate my first kids book. I plan on working both traditionally in acrylic and digitally with procreate. We are going with 8”x10” book, so double spread pages will be 8”x20”. Should I work on acrylic friendly paper that is 8”x20” or go a bit bigger to make room for bleed? What size and type of paper do you suggest? Or does it even matter if I’m just going to upload to my iPad and can customize the size in there?

  • @Nancy-Myslik congratulations!

    The paper and media you use to create the illustrations don't matter as much as the size that you create the illustrations. As long as your art is reproducible, it can be in any medium.

    When you prepare to illustrate, you'll want to pay attention to your trim size -- for your full page and spread illustrations, you'll want to keep the art sized to fit the 8 x 10 dimensions of the book. (That means if you size up, size up proportionally.) Working at trim size or slightly larger is preferable.

    However, the size you choose when working traditionally will be determined by how the artwork is going to be reproduced. Are you scanning it? What is the maximum scan size of the scanner? You won't want to go over that. If you're going to have the artwork photographed, size doesn't really matter. But you'll want to make sure that a professional is photographing the artwork so the image will be crisp and clear and the lighting will remain consistent with no shadowing. Make sure you scan/save files at least at 300 dpi. Higher is better (400 to 600 dpi), especially if the artwork is sized smaller than trim size and has to be sized up. TIFF files are preferred, since they're lossless.

    8 x 10 trim size usually means that the book is 8 inches wide by 10 inches high. So spreads would actually be sized 16 inches wide by 10 inches high. With bleed factored in (don't forget bleed!) a spread would be 16.25 x 10.25 inches. Or do you mean that the book is planned to be in a horizontal format, 10 inches wide x 8 inches high? In that case, the spreads would be 20 inches x 8 inches (or 20.25 x 8.25 with bleed).

    When you transition over to Procreate, make sure your canvas is sized correctly, with bleed, at 300 dpi. From what I've heard from fellow artists, sRBG is the best color setting to use, which means that you'll need to use another program like Photoshop to convert colors over to CMYK for printing. Again, exporting as TIFF files is recommended. (The files will be pretty huge, so make sure you have enough storage for that!)

    I'm sure I haven't covered all the bases, but this should get you started. Let us know if you have any other questions and all the best as you start your journey!

  • @Melissa-Bailey-0
    Thank you so much for all this incredible information. It all seems so overwhelming right now but it’s been a dream of mine so I’ll work one step at a time. I’m sure I’ll be posting more questions as I go. 🙂

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